Burglary In California ''Room'' Legal Definition

Since the 1858 amendment of the burglary statute, California cases have concluded that entry into any type of room with the requisite intent constitutes a burglary. (See People v. Young (1884) 65 Cal. 225, 226 3 P. 813 burglary by entry into a ticket office in a railroad station separated by an eight- or nine-foot-high partition from waiting room; People v. Davis (1905) 1 Cal. App.. 8, 10 81 P. 716 burglary by entry of room of inmate of house of ill repute; People v. Carkeek (1939) 35 Cal. App. 2d 499, 502 96 P.2d 132 entry into an office was a burglary in that "an entry into a 'room' with the necessary intent makes out a case of burglary under section 459"; People v. Garcia (1963) 214 Cal. App. 2d 681, 683 29 Cal. Rptr. 609 burglary by entry of liquor cage in a store affirmed because "in any event, a room within a building may be burglarized", disapproved on other grounds in Mozzetti v. Superior Court (1971) 4 Cal. 3d 699, 703 & 706 94 Cal. Rptr. 412, 484 P.2d 84; People v. Edwards (1971) 22 Cal. App. 3d 598, 602 99 Cal. Rptr. 516 burglary by entry into women's restroom at hospital to rifle purses; People v. Wilson (1989) 208 Cal. App. 3d 611, 615 256 Cal. Rptr. 422 entry into a locked rented room in a house was entry of a separate residence within the meaning of 460; People v. Mackabee (1989) 214 Cal. App. 3d 1250, 1253 263 Cal. Rptr. 183 "we conclude an office space in the lobby of a public building, separated from the lobby by a waist-high counter, is a 'room' for purposes of the burglary statute, section 459"; People v. Thomas, supra, 235 Cal. App. 3d at p. 904 "any person who enters a house or an inhabited dwelling, or a room in such a house or dwelling, with the intent to commit theft, is guilty of burglary"; People v. McCormack (1991) 234 Cal. App. 3d 253, 256 285 Cal. Rptr. 504 section 459 "plainly states that entry into a room with intent to steal is burglary".) If entry into a "room" within a building with the requisite intent can constitute a burglary, it would appear to follow that entry into multiple rooms with such intent would support multiple charges of burglary. Indeed, California courts have affirmed separate burglary convictions for entry into separate rooms in a single structure, whether it be student dormitory rooms within interconnected buildings (People v. O'Keefe (1990) 222 Cal. App. 3d 517, 521 271 Cal. Rptr. 769, cert. den. sub nom. O'Keefe v. California (1991) 500 U.S. 920 111 S. Ct. 2022, 114 L. Ed. 2d 108), or separately leased and locked offices in a small office building (People v. Church (1989) 215 Cal. App. 3d 1151, 1159 264 Cal. Rptr. 49 evidence supported four separate burglaries of four separately leased and locked offices in a small office building, disapproved on another ground in People v. Bouzas (1991) 53 Cal. 3d 467, 477-480 279 Cal. Rptr. 847, 807 P.2d 1076; see also People v. James (1977) 19 Cal. 3d 99, 119 137 Cal. Rptr. 447, 561 P.2d 1135.)